Daily Archives: July 12, 2006

For those not paying attention

Remember that photo I posted yesterday?

We’ll be away for a few days. The blog won’t be getting updated, as there’s an embargo on my Internet usage whilst on holiday. Hopefully I will get back into some photography, and have plenty to share when we return… I already have some shots from last weekend (cricket match, plus a zoo) which I need to upload to Flickr.

In case you are interested, my holiday reading list includes:
Sourcery by Terry Pratchett
Pyramids by Terry Pratchett
Winston’s War by Michael Dobbs

Oh, and before I forget, our top book recommendations at the moment are A Year in the Merde, and the sequel Merde Actually, both by Stephen Clarke – hilarious first-person accounts of a Londoner who moves to Paris to open a tea shop. Very good, and really readable, I got through them in a couple of evenings.

(mind you, yesterday I was told off for reading so much fiction, on the basis that it isn’t doing anything to improve my mind – so I’ll probably have to stick some technical books in the case as well)

What is Zooomr all about?

Zooomr is another photo sharing site, in the Flickr mould. I had a play with it for the first time yesterday. Basically Zooomr appears to be another photo sharing site, but with an integrated Google Maps mashup which plots photos onto a map based on geotags.

Except, so far I can’t seem to find a way to create the geotags. I was expecting some nice way of pulling up a map and then telling Zooomr where a photo was taken, but I can’t figure how (or if) that is supposed to happen. Presumably I have to figure out the locations manually, and then add them as text tags myself.

On top of the geotag feature, Zooomr appears to have some sound features to let you “hear” the photos. Not sure I get this entirely…

The other oddity is that you don’t have to sign up for an account with Zooomr. They will allow you to use an ID from another system (OpenID and some others) to login. I used my Google account. The way this works is that you tell it your GMail address, and you get emailed a “TPass” which is valid for 600 seconds / 10 minutes. I assumed that this was just for the first login, but it turns out that you have to go through this process every time you want to login – email yourself a different password every time. Too weird. Oh, and once you’ve logged in with one form of ID, you can’t change to another one later. Thanks, but no thanks.

So far I’ve not really uploaded much, just a few shots as an experiment. Unless my understanding of the site changes, I don’t think I’ll really be using it. By all means give it a try, and see what you make of it. They have a nice tour of the features available. However, the FAQ appears to be all the other help you get, and in my opinion it simply is not sufficient to enable me to understand how to do certain things (like the login conundrum, and how to geotag). There also doesn’t appear to be any support / contact page.

Zooomr 2.0 is supposed to launch in the next couple of days, so maybe that will improve things (and note that the site will be down soon for the upgrade, so if you read this and then can’t check out Zooomr, that might explain it). I’m not giving up on it completely yet.

When I get back from holiday, I’m intending to have a play with Picasa Web Albums, although based on what I’ve read, I’m not expecting that to tempt me away from Flickr, either. As with Blogger and others, Google doesn’t seem to have made the best of the Picasa acquisition, so my hopes are not high.